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Subject: RE: [ubl-comment] Fwd: Re: UBL and CEFACT

Your statement: "OASIS does not believe that it has much ability to constrain or limit the actions of its various committees" pretty well surfaces the general issue I have with efforts to work on standards in a loosely controlled organization.  IMO, OASIS should not view itself and should not be viewed as a standards setting organization.  Rather, I feel they should view themselves and be viewed as a research organization.  Similarly, I feel standards setting organizations should not view themselves and should not be viewed as research organizations. 
Research is  fostered by exercising minimal control over the work program and by encouraging competition.  Standards are fostered by exercising strong control over the work program, and by encouraging cooperation. 
Research generally precedes and feeds the standardization process.  The standardization process generally takes as input the output of multiple research efforts, and through a mixed process of compromise, evolution, and refinement reaches consensus agreement on new standards. 
I am suspicious of efforts that mix square pegs and holes together with round pegs and holes.  I am likewise suspicious of efforts to eliminate one or the other shapes.
 -----Original Message-----
From: James Bryce Clark [mailto:jamie.clark@mmiec.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 4:04 AM
To: ubl-comment@lists.oasis-open.org; cefact-ewg@list.unicc.org; un-tmwg@gefeg.com
Subject: [ubl-comment] Fwd: Re: UBL and CEFACT

Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002 23:48:30 -0800
To: "Kenji Itoh" <kenji41@attglobal.net>
From: James Bryce Clark <jbc@lawyer.com>
Subject: Re:  UBL and CEFACT
Cc: ubl-comment@lists.oasis-open.org, cefact-ewg@list.unicc.org, un-tmwg@gefeg.com, richard.hill@itu.int, fvuille@attglobal.net, jon.bosak@eng.sun.com, mcrawfor@lmi.org, rberwanger@bTrade.com, gannon@sierra.net, knaujok@attglobal.net, raywalker@attglobal.net, djmarsh@netcomuk.co.uk

Kenji, thank you very much for your comments.   It is my hope that the UBL and CEFACT representatives present in Geneva will be able to work out a way to present and pursue their efforts as complementary and unified.   I have two primary concerns.

First, the window of opportunity for obtaining industry and user support for ebXML or any other web services schema is this year.  Another year of continued divergent efforts, in appearance or reality, will impair our ability to promote a unified nonproprietary eBusiness solution.  

Second, the actual technical differences between the two approaches are not great.   If put into the same room, I believe the authors and experts would be able to resolve issues and forge consensual answers.  By continuing to develop in parallel, we are encouraging differing opinions to avoid reconciliation.  In my view we have still failed to bring together the different opinions about modeling and implementation that were raised in Tokyo in 2000.  Both viewpoints have merit:  our project is unlikely to thrive unless we have both forward compatibility with fully-modeled, object-valid systems as well as smooth backwards compatibility with simple deployment of document-based messages such as the EDIFACT set. 

Ray, Klaus and I did discuss the overlapping work issues with the ebXML Joint Coordinating Committee on several occasions.  I believe that OASIS continues to be committed to ebXML, but the May 2001 MoU with CEFACT is not very clear or helpful in defining the relationship, and OASIS does not believe that it has much ability to constrain or limit the actions of its various committees.  I am confident that OASIS will cooperate with whatever resolution the UBL TC itself reaches.  We felt the best approach was to take up the issue directly with the UBL team and its leadership.

I am hopeful that the discussions this week will result in joint work rather than continued parallel tracks.

Best regards    Jamie Clark

~ James Bryce Clark
~ American Bar Association Business Law Subcommittee on E-Commerce
~ 1 310 293 6739  jbc@lawyer.com

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